The Artists

Sir William Dargie 1970, C.B.E. 1969, h.c.M.A., F.R.S.A. (London), F.R.A.S. (N.S.W.)

A Biographical Sketch

William Alexander Dargie was born on 4 June 1912 at Footscray, Victoria. He was the first born son, and first of the two children, of Andrew Dargie, who worked in the timber industry and schoolteacher, Adelaide Mary, nee Sargent.

Dargie's paternal grandparents came from Forfar, a small town north of Dundee, between Dundee and Aberdeen, Scotland. Dargie's Scottish ancestry can be traced back to 1600, however Dargie will tell you that the very early roots of the Dargie family are Danish.

Dargie's maternal grandparents were residents of Footscray.
Like Arthur Streeton, Dargie had a family that provided him with no early artistic influences, and also like Streeton, Dargie had one parent a schoolteacher.

Dargie's brother, Horrace Andrew (Horrie, as he was known) was born on 7 July 1917.
It is recorded that Dargie 'had his early schooling at the old gold town of Walhalla, Victoria (at State School no. 957), and then at the nearby timber town of Erica, but he and his younger brother, Horrie, who was to become a popular band-leader, were educated chiefly in Melbourne.'

Dargie's mother was determined that her boys were to receive a good education. By all accounts she was a strong woman, and somewhat of a pioneer, being one of the earliest of women schoolteachers in Victoria. She taught in remote areas such as Jerusalem Creek, an old gold mining town now submerged beneath Lake Eildon, and also in the Otways.

However, even with this pioneering spirit she was not up to living long term in the bush near Erica. The saw-millers and timber workers cottages were 'over the back', on the western side of Erica, and it was here that Dargie spent several of his early years.

His father, Andrew worked with his brother, Percy, who was also in the local timber industry, and it is known that they worked on the building of several of the railway bridges in the area. Recently, the local Historical Society has honoured Percy Dargie, through the erection of a photographic display of the 'Tramway Track' that he built. Many of the bridges that Andrew and Percy worked on were later demolished, although work is presently underway to rebuild and reopen part of the old railway line.

Dargie remembers that one of his earliest drawings was a map of Australia. He was at a country school and was eight or nine at the time. The headmaster, on looking at his work, which Dargie recalls 'he had just made up', was not impressed, for the drawing was of such high quality that he was accused of tracing the image and was given 'a whack with the strap for cheating'.

From talking with Dargie, it would seem that his mother preferred to live in Melbourne with her relatives than to be 'stuck out in the bush' in Erica. So his parents spent time apart, in what seems to have been a mutual separation based on what was best economically for the family. Dargie informed me that 'such incidents were not talked about in those days.'

Whatever the situation was, Dargie recalls one event that occurred when he was only six or seven, when the family were together.
'We had a small cottage on a farm, overlooking South Gippsland. One night my father was very ill, and we had to take him to the nearest township, that was some miles away, for medical attention. All we had was a small jinker. My father was laid across the back, and my mother, who had my young brother, as a baby, by her side, had to steer along what was known as a jinkered road - whilst I had to walk out in front carrying a storm lantern. I will never forget that night, for I thought my father was going to die.' His father didn't die that night, although for many years he had trouble with his hip.

Dargie and his brother moved back to the city with his mother, visiting relatives in Footscray, (probably the Sargent family - the parents of his mother, who were residents of Footscray), and later settling in a cottage off Douglas Parade, Williamstown. Dargie's father it seems chose to stay in the bush, where he had a regular income working with the timber.

Dargie continued with his schooling, and it is recorded that, 'In Room 6 at Footscray 'Tech' (now the Footscray Institute of Technology), young William Dargie took his first art lesson. His teacher was Mr C.F. Mundie, the Institute's first Art Master.' Dargie recalls that as a youth he met Tom Roberts and Arthur Streeton.
'Streeton - he describes as a genius. Roberts was like good prose, whereas Streeton had poetic flare.'

On finishing his schooling, Dargie followed in his mother's footsteps and enrolled in a Teacher Training course, which he successfully completed. One of his first postings was the North Williamstown State School, where he met Hal Porter, who was to become one of his close friends. Dargie recalls that,
'We taught all the topics. I taught top grade, and Hal Porter taught the next one down.'

It was later noted that,
'Until he was nineteen, two ambitions obsessed him; one of these was to become a Davis Cup tennis player, and the other to be a poet. He practiced tennis assiduously, but on his own assessment he was "never better than a useful B Pennant player."
He also wrote many poems, and some of these were published, but not under Dargie's own name.'

Dargie noted that, he came to painting 'because steady rain washed out tennis and left him with time on his hands one Saturday afternoon in the 1931 summer. A friend took him along to meet the Melbourne artist, Archie Colquhoun and as Dargie wandered about Colquhoun's studio, something, as he puts it, "just went click" like that, and from then painting was the only thing I wanted to do .'

Dargie clearly remembers the occasion, and states that,
'It was just like Paul on the road to Tarsus. Twenty minutes in that studio and I was lost.'

Dargie recalls that, 'It was a time when I was interested in epistemological matters - the theory of knowledge and what you could and couldn't know - and (A. Colquhoun's) talk was about the analysis of visual sense data.'

Archie Colquhoun was a disciple of Max Meldrum, and Dargie recalls that Colquhoun, 'gave me a piece of board and said "all you do, in the first instance, is put that alongside your subject. Just forget what you think you know about the subject and take these patches of colour and make them the same on the canvas as you see them alongside it."'
'All my work', Dargie says, 'is based on what Archie Colquhoun taught me then and later.' At the time Dargie met Archie Colquhoun, he was teaching English and Mathematics and was under contract to the Victorian Education Department. Given that jobs and money was hard to come by, what Dargie did next was a bold and brave move. Rather than resign from the Education Department, he took a year's leave of absence without pay, and spent the year in Colquhoun's studio 'watching, listening, studying, learning.' During that year, Dargie continued his studies at the Melbourne Technical College. It is recorded that he first studied sculpture under George Allen, and then in 1932-1933 studied painting under Napier Waller.

Dargie was later to produce a large mural for the foyer of New Holland (Australasia) Pty. Ltd. in six-foot square panels, which showed in its style the strong influence of Napier Waller. Dargie reportedly received further studies under the Englishman, Tom Carter.

Two of the earliest portraits that Dargie produced were a fine 'Self-Portrait', and another of his brother Horrie, as 'The Young Recruit', both painted in 1933.

Dargie recalls that,
'In 1933, I survived on nine pence a day. There were many small cafes in Russell Street where one could get a three-course meal for nine pence - and I knew them all.' Apart from these small cafes in Russell Street that Dargie and his colleagues used to frequent, another popular café was Café Petrushka in Little Collins Street. Café Petrushka was managed by Minka Wolman who was later to marry artist Hayward Veal, and the address of this café was 144 Little Collins Street.

It is interesting to note that only a short distance away, Archie Colquhoun had established his 'Colquhoun School of Painting' at 125 Little Collins Street. Hal Porter later listed the following as habitues to Café Petrushka in 1937, 'Loudon Sainthill, James Flett with 'a portfolio of water colour pirates and self portraits', John Dale and Max Meldrum, William Dargie, Hayward Veal, Helene Kirsova, with her hair in pale braids, with pale eyes and flaming cheeks', Albert Tucker, and George Bell and his students.'

Helene Kirsova's first visit to Australia in 1936 was as one of the principals in the Monte Carlo Russian Ballet. She was one of the earliest to establish Russian ballet in Australia by forming her own company in Sydney in 1940. This Company later gave a season of ballet at His Majesty's Theatre, Melbourne under the auspices of J.C. Williamson Ltd.

The Russian ballet greatly impressed Dargie and Loudon Sainthill, and Dargie painted a number of the ballerinas including Tania Riabochinska. Dargie's ballet works depicted members of the Russian ballet and their costumes. Many of these works produced around 1935 included pen and ink, gouache and small oils on canvas. However, Dargie also produced a number of major works in 1935, and one was his oil 'Portrait of Jean'.

As a student, Dargie recalls that one of the artworks that impressed him the most in the National Gallery of Victoria collection, was 'Tranquil Winter', 1895 by Walter Withers.

When his year's leave of absence ended, Dargie went back to the relative servitude of teaching. But now, with art studies behind him, he concentrated on teaching art. 'First he had a year teaching small boys art at Caulfield Technical College; then he went to Swinburne Technical College as a Senior Art Master.' Dargie continued his private art lessons with Archie Colquhoun until 1934.

Dargie became a member of the Victorian Artists' Society. He was referred to the Society by Louis McCubbin, and from 1934, he regularly exhibited with the Society. Later Dargie was to be made a Life Member of the Victorian Artists' Society and Honorary Fellow, and in 1990 received their Honor medal.

During 1934, Dargie had what he called his first big show.
'It was a mixed show at the Victorian Artists' Society. Autumn of 1934. I only put one picture in it. A self-portrait. It sold. I was shipwrecked on the shores of bohemia.'

The twenty-two year old artist had further success that year with the sale of several paintings at an exhibition in the Stair Gallery in Melbourne. One of these works titled 'Flower Piece' 1933 that was sold in this 1934 exhibition is now in the collection of the Benalla Art Gallery.

It was during this year that Dargie launched out on a full-time painting career. One of his early self-portraits painted this year is now in the collection of the Castlemaine Art Gallery.

On 24 February 1937, William Alexander Dargie married Kathleen Clara Howitt, daughter of G.H. Howitt of England. Kathleen was born on 25 February 1910, and the marriage took place at the Registry Office in Melbourne.

Dargie counts himself lucky that his wife, who was a talented artist herself, 'understood what he wanted of life and was willing to make the sacrifices that had to be made.'
Dargie and his wife met when they were both art students.
Dargie gave his studio address at this time as 8 Mooltan Avenue, East St. Kilda. S.2.

In an early (undated-as to year) exhibition catalogue titled 'Exhibition of Paintings: (W.A. Dargie and P.G. Moore)' Athenaeum., July 25 to August 5, a number of Dargie's works are of ballet subjects. The address on this catalogue is 8 Mooltan Avenue, East St. Kilda. S.2.

During 1937, Dargie painted the portrait of sculptor, Edith Moore.

Dargie continued with his painting, and held another exhibition of his works - between 30 August and 10 September. The exhibition catalogue, titled 'Catalogue of Paintings and Drawings by W.A. Dargie' was (undated-as to year), and gave no indication where the exhibition was held. However, the catalogue did give Dargie's studio address as 8 Mooltan Avenue, East St. Kilda. S.2.
Dargie painted a portrait of his wife, Kathleen around 1938-1939.

Dargie won the A.V. Woodward Prize, from the Bendigo Art Gallery, and also won the McPhillimy Art Prize, from the Geelong Art Gallery. Dargie remembers that the judge of the McPhillimy Art Prize was Sir John Longstaff. Longstaff was greatly impressed with Dargie's work, and later left his easel to Dargie in his will.
The Myer family, have suggested that it was around 1940 that Dargie painted the portrait of Dame Merlyn Myer D.B.E.

Dargie and fellow artist, Murray Griffin enlisted in World War II, however Dargie remembers
'we were dragged out very smartly and appointed as war artists.' Dargie was appointed an official war artist during World War II, with A.I.F. (Captain), R.A.A.F. and R.A.N. in the Middle East and New Guinea, India, and Burma, and produced many works depicting military action in Crete, Milne Bay and the Owen Stanleys.

Dargie's brother, Horrie also joined the Army during the war, and eventually transferred to the 1st Australian Entertainment Unit as Musical Director / Variety Performer in the 3rd Armoured Division Concert Party. Horrie served in New Guinea and later in the occupied army in Japan.

While digging a trench in Tobruk, Dargie was informed that he had won the Archibald Prize for 1941, with his portrait of Sir James Elder K.B.E. This was the first of his eight Archibald prize-winning portraits, and Dargie was still but a young man of twenty-nine.

A week later, on 19 January 1942, it was reported in the papers that Dargie had won the 75 pound - George Mackay Commemoration Prize, held by the Bendigo Art Gallery for a selected portrait in oils. The prize was given on the recommendation of the adjudicator, J.S. MacDonald. The next day it was announced in the papers that Dargie's painting was a self-portrait and that the prize was acquisitive.

Dargie spent nearly a year in the Middle East as an official war artist, and returned to Australia in June 1942, joined the Military History section of the Army, and spent the rest of the war, painting and sketching.

It was around this time that Dargie was accepted as a member of the Melbourne Savage Club. A fellow member of this Club (1925-1978) was Rt. Honourable Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, who was President of the Club (1947-1962).

Dargie returned to work in New Guinea and Burma, and in Greece after the liberation - producing hundreds of paintings and sketches, many of which are now housed in the Australian War Memorial collection in Canberra.

Reports on Dargie's war paintings and sketches were in marked contrast to the harsh criticism that he received from the Sydney critics over his Archibald prize-winning works. For example it was noted that Dargie,
'is capable of producing small pictures of great sensitivity and expression', and overall he contributed more than six hundred works, many of these pencil sketches, pen and ink works, and watercolours, to the collection of the Australian War Memorial.

In 1942, Dargie's works were illustrated in 'Soldiering On: The Australian Army at Home and Overseas', and in 1943, his work was illustrated in 'Khaki and Green: With the Australian Army at Home and Overseas.' Both of these publications were published by the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, and the works by Dargie illustrated in these publications, were captioned with Dargie's Military Service Number: B3/59.

Dargie was notified early in the year that he had won the Archibald Prize for 1942, with his portrait of Corporal Jim Gordon V.C. Dargie had painted Gordon's portrait after he had been awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry as an infantry private in Syria. It was a portrait that was well received by the public as typifying the Australian soldier.

Dargie's son, Roger was born in Armadale, Victoria in 1943, and was the first of his two children.

In one report it is noted that, 'Dargie was commissioned as a Lieutenant in October 1943 and was later promoted to Captain.' Dargie was stationed in Atherton, North Queensland, late in 1943, and it was here that he painted his portrait of General Douglas MacArthur - on a toilet door. Dargie later described this painting as being produced, 'In a moment of youthful folly' during a farewell party before the troops left Atherton and headed off to New Guinea.

During 1943, Dargie also painted the portrait of Captain Edward Harty, Infantryman, 9th Australian Division.

It is noted in the 1943 Bread and Cheese Club publication 'Fellows All' that, 'the Club owns an oil painting by William Dargie of Louis Politzer', a writer on cooking and one time lecturer on cooking at the Emily McPherson College for Domestic Economy.

Dargie was allocated duty with the R.A.A.F. in India in 1944, and also worked in the New Guinea campaign, producing numerous pen and brush and ink works. Dargie recalled in 1997 the artwork he achieved in the jungle,
'You'd have a satchel on your back. I put a bit of ply into my bag to hold the watercolour paper flat. You had your sheets of drawing paper, a bottle of indian ink. I used a goose feather, a goose quill, to fan the colour with. One day I saw a company going to action with a Catholic priest getting them to kneel first, bow their heads to God. I thought that would make a good painting. Praying before the battle. That was with the 57/60th Battalion.'

Dargie further remembered his return after the war,
'I came home with the remnants of the military forces from New Guinea. When I got to Moresby, the Japs were 14 miles up the track. I was down in Milne Bay; that's where the crack Jap troops were defeated for the first time. This was the 2/9th Division; the 2/10th and the 9th Military Battalion.'

At the cessation of hostilities, Dargie was sent to Greece to 'make good, the discrepancies in art coverage of the disastrous campaign that took place in 1941.'

His name appeared for the fist time in 'Who's Who in Australia', and his address was given as 8 Mooltan Avenue, E. St. Kilda, Vic.

Dargie was notified early in the year that he had won the Archibald Prize for 1945 with his portrait of Lieutenant-General Sir Edmund Herring K.C.M.G., K.B.E., D.S.O., M.C., K.St.J., E.D. This was his third Archibald prize-winning work.

After completion of his duties as official war artist, Dargie was appointed in April 1946, as Head, National Gallery of Victoria Art School (1946-1953). Among his many students were John Brack, Clifton Pugh, Lawrence Daws and Bruce Fletcher. Also attending the National Gallery of Victoria Art School at this time was Alan Martin and Fred Williams.

Dargie was notified early in the year that he had won the Archibald Prize for 1946 with his portrait of L.C. Robson M.C., M.A. Headmaster of North Sydney Grammar School. In 'Who's Who in Australia' for 1947, Dargie's address is given as Olinda, Vic., and a photograph from a newspaper dated 16 January 1947, shows Dargie in his garden in Olinda with his young son, Roger on a tricycle.

The Maltby family, of whom Peg was a well-known author of children's books and illustrator, remembers that Dargie and his family at this time lived close by, in their street - Sunset Avenue, Olinda.
Along with John Farmer and William Ricketts, Dargie became a patron of the 'Save the Dandenongs League' that was formed in 1944.
Dargie was later to become the 'quiet driving force', whose influence helped William Ricketts achieve his dream of creating his Sanctuary.

During this year, Dargie became an Associate of the Twenty Melbourne Painters, and was Associate (1947-1952) and Member (1953-1988). For many years, Dargie was an Office Bearer of the Twenty Melbourne Painters, and at the time of his resignation in 1988, was Chairman. Dargie was particularly fond of this group of artists, and he regularly took part in their exhibitions.

Dargie's brother, Horrie moved back to Melbourne around 1947. After the war, Horrie formed his successful Harlequintet, or Quintet for short, and later Quartet.

Once again Dargie was notified early in the year that he had won the Archibald Prize. The prize for 1947 had been awarded to Dargie for his portrait of Sir Marcus Clark K.B.E.

Dargie's daughter, Faye was born in Melbourne, Victoria.

During this year, Dargie produced a number of small landscape works, one of these being, 'Summer in the Dandenong Foothills'.

In 'Who's Who in Australia', 1950, Dargie's address is given as 'St. Austell', Clarkmont Road, Sassafras, Vic. His previous house in Olinda he had swapped for one of the first 'Jennings' houses built in Glen Huntly, and the proceeds from the sale of this 'Jennings' house went to the purchase of 'St. Austell' with its beautiful four acre garden. During this year, Dargie painted the portrait of Lady Travers, as well as the portrait of Dame Enid Lyons.

Early in the year Dargie was notified that he had won the Archibald Prize for 1950, with his portrait of Sir Leslie McConnan.
Dargie exhibited with the Royal Academy, London. Augustus John had earlier nominated Dargie for membership of the Academy. Dargie also exhibited in the UNESCO exhibition in Paris. Around 1951, Dargie painted the portrait of Sir Edwin Nixon.

The recording of the 'Horrie Dargie Concert', performed at the Sydney Town Hall on 18 November 1952, was reported as achieving Australia's first gold album.
Around 1952, Dargie sold 'St, Austell' and bought what became his permanent family home, where he still resides today, at 19 Irilbarra Road, Canterbury, Victoria.
Dargie also purchased another Canterbury residence, a large two-storey Victorian weatherboard, which was close to his family home, and situated at 23 Mangarra Road, Canterbury. The Mangarra Road residence became Dargie's 'Art School'. The downstairs lounge-room became the main studio, and the five or six bedrooms upstairs became studios for students.

Dargie won the Archibald Prize for 1952, with his portrait of Mr Essington Lewis C.H. This was Dargie's seventh Archibald prize-winning work. A newspaper article in The Age on 25 February 1953, titled 'Melbourne Artist to Advise Govt.' reported that, 'Mr W.A. Dargie had been appointed to the Commonwealth Art Advisory Board.' Dargie was appointed a Member, Commonwealth Art Advisory Board (1953 - 1975), and was Chairman, Commonwealth Art Advisory Board (1969 - 1973).
The Yorick Art Prize began in 1953, and Dargie was later a judge of this competition.

Dargie wrote the Introduction for the book: 'Art of Rubery Bennett', which was published by Angus & Robertson. In the publication 'A Gallery of Australian Art', published in 1954, Dargie's portrait 'The Irish Girl' is illustrated and noted as 'part of the collection of the National Gallery of N.S.W.' Dargie exhibited in the Artists for Peace exhibition, held at Tye's Gallery in September 1954.

Late in the year, Dargie travelled to London. He remembers painting the portrait of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II in Buckingham Palace in December 1954.
During 1954, Dargie also painted the portrait of the Very Rev. Jeremiah Murphy S.J.

On 14 February 1955 Alice Bale died, and in her will, dated 1 February 1949, 'after various bequests, directed her Trustee (Perpetual Trustees Victoria Ltd.) to apply the residue of her estate for the purpose of establishing a scholarship bearing her name and encouraging painting in representational or traditional art. Her wishes were that the Trustee would appoint a committee of artists of high standard to provide assistance.
The original committee members were Sir William Dargie CBE, Max Meldrum , and John Rowell.' In 1979, the Trustee with the concurrence of the committee varied the terms of the Scholarship. On 18 February 1981, a Court Order gave power to the Trustee to sell the Kew residence and its contents to establish the A.M.E. Bale Art Foundation Trust.

Dargie organized for the works entered for the Travelling Scholarship and Art Prizes to be exhibited at the McClelland Art Gallery, and for the works to be judged by the 'Twenty Melbourne Painters Society Inc.'. In the 1999, 'Conditions of Entry', it is evident that the works entered and selected are now shown at the Glen Eira City Gallery, Caulfield, although the selection and judging is still in the hands of the Twenty Melbourne Painters Society Inc.. Included with the 'Conditions of Entry' are a few comments on, 'Traditional Art' written for prospective entrants by 'Sir William Dargie CBE, AME Bale Art Foundation Trust.'

Dargie has been involved as a trustee of the A.M.E. Bale Art Foundation Trust for close to fifty years. It has been a major interest in his life, and this involvement and dedication to the Trust highlights two of Dargie's strongest qualities. The first is his strong organizational skills, and the second is his encouragement of other artists, especially young artists. One of the early winners of the Scholarship recently told me that Dargie was not only the driving force behind the organization of the prize, but that he also provided lessons to the Scholarship recipients, and greatly encouraged them with their work. I was further told that, 'Dargie could relate to anyone. From the poor to the rich, to people from all walks of life and from all ages.'

Newspapers reported that Dargie at this time, 'was in England fulfilling 2 years worth of 500 guinea commissions'. Dargie was in England in 1955, with his wife and their two young children, who were sent to boarding school. At first he lived with his wife in Hampstead Heath, and they later moved to Abinger in Surrey, and eventually to a flat in Lansdowne Street in London. It is known that while overseas, Dargie painted and travelled to various art centres in Europe with a group of expatriate Australian artists, and also at one time, shared a studio with Pietro Annigoni.

Around 1955, Dargie painted the portraits of Dame Mabel Brookes D.B.E., Chev. Legion d'Honneur; and Dame Pattie Menzies G.B.E. While overseas in England, Dargie rented out his house in Irilbarra Road, Canterbury, and his parents moved in to his house in Mangarra Road, Canterbury. Late in the year Dargie returned alone from England, sold the house in Mangarra Road, and some of the proceeds from this sale went to the building of a studio, and further extensions to the house in Irilbarra Road.

Early in 1956, Dargie's wife and children returned from England. Dargie may have once again travelled to England in 1956, for it was during this year that he painted the portrait of H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh.

Around this time, Dargie's brother, Horrie and two others had put in a tender, the DYT tender for the Television Licence for Channel O in Melbourne, and Dargie became a shareholder in this tender. Unfortunately for DYT, the Licence was given to Reg Ansett, and although Dargie was greatly disappointed, Horrie was offered employment with a number of the newly founded television companies. Horrie compared and presented the 'BP Super Show' on Melbourne's GTV 9, 'The Price Is Right' for the 7 Network and was Production Director of 'The Price Is Right', 'The Delo and Daly Show' and the pop music show 'GO'. Horrie later supplied the harmonica music for the film soundtracks of 'Crocodile Dundee II' and 'Robbery Under Arms'.

Among Dargie's later friends was Hector Crawford, with whom Dargie often enjoyed a game of tennis. It is known that Dargie was back in Australia late in 1956.
On Saturday 27 October 1956, Dargie presented his portrait of Miss C.S. Montgomery, First Principal, Melbourne Girls' High School, to the School.

Dargie was also reportedly in Sydney in December 1956, where Albert Namatjira sat for Dargie to paint his portrait. Dargie remembers well painting with Namatjira in the vicinity of the MacDonnell Ranges, and one of Dargie's works of Mount Sonder is now in the Laurence H. Ledger Collection of the Benalla Art Gallery

Dargie returned to England. He was notified early in the year that he had won the Archibald Prize for 1956, with his portrait of Albert Namatjira. This was Dargie's eighth Archibald prize-winning work. On 14 May 1957 it was reported that, 'The Queensland National Art Gallery trustees decided to buy William Dargie's 1957 Archibald prize-winning portrait of aboriginal artist, Albert Namatjira.' Dargie painted another portrait of Albert Namatjira around 1959, and this was auctioned as part of the 'Sir Leon and Lady Trout Collection' by Christie's Australia in June 1989.

Dargie wrote a book, 'On Painting a Portrait' which was published in London by Artist Publishing. During 1957, Dargie painted the portrait of Dinah Krongold, and the posthumous portrait of Sir Kenneth Myer. Late in the year, Dargie returned with his family to Australia.

Bernard Smith noted in his 1993 work on Noel Counihan that, 'Although they were poles apart politically, William Dargie had come to admire Counihan's work. It was on Dargie's advice that 'On Bakery Hill' was submitted to the Commonwealth Art Advisory Board meeting on 8 January 1958 for consideration for purchase for the National collection - but without success.'

During 1958, Dargie painted the portraits of Jennifer Smyth with Benita and Bronwen.

Dargie was awarded an O.B.E. During 1959, Dargie painted the portrait of fellow artist, Sir Lionel Lindsay. This portrait, as well as Dargie's portrait of fellow artist, Sir William Ashton are in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia.

Dargie and his family were involved in a car accident in Burke Road, Camberwell, close to 'Our Lady of Victory' Church.
During 1960, Dargie painted the portrait of Lady Trout.

Dargie painted the portrait of Margaret Smith M.B.E. (M. Barrymore Court 1967).
In November 1961, Dargie was accepted as a member of the Melbourne Club.

Louis Kahan drew a portrait of Dargie in ink, grey wash and charcoal, and this is now in the picture collection of the State Library of Victoria. Around 1962, Dargie produced a study for a portrait of Hal Porter. On 19 May, 25 May and 12 June 1962, Dargie wrote 'Letters To The Editor' of The Age. These are reproduced here, for you to read, as they appeared in 1962.

One of the highlights of 1963 for Dargie was the winning of the worldwide portrait painting competition held by Lancôme. One of other portrait painters who entered this competition was Pietro Annigoni. When it was announced that Dargie had won, reporters besieged Dargie wanting to know, who the model was in his painting, but Dargie would not say. Dargie wanted to protect the model from the media, for the model was actually his daughter Faye, who was around the age of fifteen at the time she modeled for the portrait.

When Dargie was interviewed by author and Arts writer for The Age, John Hetherington in 1963 about his portrait painting, Dargie suggested that up to 1963 he had painted 200 portraits, and,
'now paints only about six portraits a year, and refuses many commissions.'

Dargie further noted that, 'while portraits pay him handsomely, they no longer provide the major part of his income. He earns as much, and probably more, by painting genre pictures, for which he has a good market in England. He is also a prolific landscape painter.'

A chapter (from which the above was taken) titled 'William Dargie: Faces are his Fortune' was devoted to Dargie in the book 'Australian Painters: Forty Profiles' by John Hetherington. This chapter had previously appeared in The Age, in a series 'Australian Artists in Profile'. The series, which covered the lives of forty of Australia's best known artists, appeared in The Age 'Literary Supplement', between 11 November 1961 and 24 November 1962. Hetherington in his chapter on Dargie, recalled Dargie's comments on how he painted a portrait.
'When Dargie paints a portrait he usually needs about eight or ten two-hour sittings. He likes sitters to talk freely about themselves and their jobs, but he does not read up a sitter's subject before beginning work on a portrait of him; he can learn far more of what he wishes to know from the man himself than from any printed page.'

'A good portrait painter never paints character'- Dargie says. 'Before he starts painting he obviously evaluates certain characteristics of his subject, as any human being would, but that is all. The portrait painter's job, I believe, is to make an accurate transcription of his subject. If he does that, people will find meaning in the finished work.' Dargie is convinced that, ' if an artist paints the truth as he sees it, people will find in his picture the truth as they see it.'

Around this time, Dargie painted the portrait of George Gotardo Foletta C.M.G. Dargie noted in 1963 that he was finished with the Archibald, 'because it was no longer a true test of portraiture'. Later in 1990, Dargie said he regretted those words; 'It was a stupid thing for me to say. I'd support the Archibald now and any other prize for this reason and on this proviso: that it shows a marked bias towards young artists.' During 1963, Dargie once again travelled to England.

Dargie painted the portrait of Professor Richard Selby Smith O.B.E. In November 1965, the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. Awarded Churchill Fellowships for the first time. Dargie was a Founding Panel Member of the Fellowships and was involved with the Churchill Fellowships for many years, in the role as Arts Consultant on the Panel.

Around this time, Dargie painted the portrait of Ian Beaurepaire C.M.G. 1968 Dargie was appointed a Member, Interim Council, National Gallery (Canberra), (1968 - 1972).

Dargie was awarded a C.B.E.
Dargie was appointed Chairman, Commonwealth Art Advisory Board, (1969 - 1973). In June 1969, soon after being named the new Chairman of the Commonwealth Art Advisory Board, 'The Age' art critic, Patrick McCaughey had this to say,
'Mr Dargie represents the most conservative strain imaginable in present-day Australian art. His domination of the Archibald Prize in the '40s and '50s reversed every step painting had taken since impressionism and bequeathed a burdensome legacy of anachronism to the Archibald from which it has never recovered.'

Dargie was appointed a Member, Aboriginal Arts Advisory Committee, (1969 - 1971).
On 12 November 1969, Dargie gave a talk on 'Cultural Life in Papua & New Guinea' to the Papua & New Guinea Society of Victoria in the Kimpton Theatre, School of Agriculture, Melbourne University.

In June 1970, Dargie was knighted ( for his services to art.
He was in Rabaul at the time that he received the news of his knighthood, on a field trip collecting and studying Melanesian artefacts. Dargie went on a number of these field trips, hunting for Melanesian artefacts for future inclusion in Australian National collections, as well as developing strong ties with institutions in the Territory of Papua New Guinea. It was the dismissal of these years of groundbreaking work by Dargie and also the lack of understanding of its importance by the Whitlam Government in 1973, that was one of the major reasons for Dargie resigning that year as Chairman, Commonwealth Art Advisory Board.

Dargie was appointed a Member, National Capital Planning Advisory Committee, (1970 - 1973).
Dargie was appointed a Trustee, Museum & Art Gallery, Territory of Papua New Guinea, (1970 - 1974), and of the Native Cultural Reserve, Port Moresby, (1970 - 1974).

Dargie produced a study for a later portrait of Rt. Hon. Sir Robert Menzies K.T., A.K., C.H.

On 30 May, an article in the Whitehorse Standard noted that Sir William Dargie had just completed the commissioned portrait, to be reproduced as the frontispiece for the biography, titled 'Beyond the Bridge' of Balwyn vicar, the Rev. J. P. Stevenson.

On 4 June, Sir John Bloomfield opened the exhibition 'Landscape and Still-life Paintings by Sir William Dargie' at the McClelland Gallery. The exhibition ran from 4 June to 20 July 1972.

On 10 July 1972, Dargie officially opened at the Leichhardt Gallery, Brisbane, the student exhibition of the Queensland Education Department's new College of Art.
Dargie was Patron of the Spring Festival of Arts & Crafts held at the Keilor Heights High School from 27- 29 October.
Around 1972-1973, Dargie painted the portrait of Sir Norman Coles as well as the portrait of Sir Kenneth Coles.

In 1973, Dargie described himself as looking like 'one of those rough-hewn late-Roman portraits.' On 20 February 1973, a major article on Dargie titled, 'Portrait of the artist as a businessman: Sir William Dargie talks to Neil Jillett' was published in The Herald, Melbourne.
This was followed by another significant article on Dargie by Neil Jillett titled, 'He was a late starter, but success came very early.
Dargie: Artist By Accident' which was published in the Sunday Mail, Brisbane on 25 March 1973. In this article, Jillett noted that,
'Nowadays, Sir William paints only three or four portraits a year. His main art income is from smaller works - particularly of domestic interiors, in an updated style of the Dutch old masters - which have a ready sale in England. But his real joy is to paint still-lifes, using as the centre piece a cast of someone with interesting features.'

Dargie has since produced at least fifty works in this way, and these include works featuring Hal Porter and Barry Humphries. Around the time of these major articles, Dargie and his wife, Kathleen, were involved in a very serious car accident. They had been to 'The Latin' for dinner and decided on that night to go in Kathleen's car, a Mini Minor, probably because it was the easiest to get to in their driveway. Dargie was driving, and a car slammed into them from the left. Dargie was knocked unconscious and left with concussion, while Kathleen was left with a broken collarbone.

In June 1973, Dargie officially opened the Dick Ovenden Memorial Art Competition.

In mid-June 1973, considerable interest in Dargie was generated in the media throughout Australia when Atherton resident, Miss Florence Arnott donated a painting by Dargie, which had been in the possession of her family since 1943, for auction, to the local St. Mary's Parochial Church Council. Dargie had painted the work late in 1943 on a lavatory door (described as a 5foot 1inch by 2foot - oil), and it depicted General Douglas MacArthur, as Dargie envisaged he would have looked, seated on a lavatory. The work was eventually sold for $7000 to 'Mr W.R. Maughan, proprietor of Natureland Zoological Gardens, Tweed Heads', where the work went 'on display', as reported in The Courier-Mail, Brisbane, 8 August 1973. Many years later, (in 1980), Sotheby's in London, put this door work by Dargie up for auction, and it was suggested at the time that the reserve price should be set at 2 million Australian dollars.

On 28 June 1973, it was announced in the article, 'Dargie as Art Judge', which appeared in the Centralian Advocate, Alice Springs, NT., that Dargie, 'was to judge the Alice Art Award for that year. Melbourne artist Tim Guthrie won the award for his painting, 'Edith Falls Waterhole'.
In July, Dargie visited Footscray Institute of Technology, where he gave praise to his old teacher, Mr C.F. Mundie.

In September, Dargie designed a motif to be reproduced on gold and silver plates to mark the opening of the Sydney Opera House. H.M. Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the Sydney Opera House on 20 October 1973.

Dargie produced an oil painting of kangaroos for reproduction in the children's book, 'Holidays at Hillydale' by Dame Mary Daly D.B.E. It is noted in the Artists biographical notes in this book that, Dargie resigned in 1973 from his position of Chairman, Commonwealth Art Advisory Board, 'in opposition to the Whitlam Government's policies on art'. On 5 November 1973, an article titled 'Dargie hits at PM on art aid' appeared in The Age. In this article it was reported that Sir William Dargie criticised the Prime Minister, Mr Whitlam, and said that, 'if the Government could afford to pay $1.4 million for the controversial painting 'Blue Poles', it could afford $750,000 for an arts centre in Alice Springs'.

In the history of the Melbourne Savage Club book, 'Laughter and the Love of Friends', it is noted that, 'when Melbourne Savage Club President, Lindsay George Plant retired, his first choice as his successor was Sir William Dargie, a thirty-year member at that time, a long serving vice-president and, as one of Australia's leading portrait painters, a link with the Club's artistic heritage.
Dargie was spending a lot of time in Canberra and London and, knowing the need for an active, hands-on president to be on top to reverse the Club's sorry financial state, declined.' A recent check of the Melbourne Savage Club records reveal that Dargie has not been a Vice-President of the Club, however it is possible that he was a long serving Vice-President of the Yorick Club.

Dargie was also spending time in Sydney. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Art Society of New South Wales, and an exhibition of his works titled 'Small Paintings by Sir William Dargie' was held at David Jones' Art Gallery in Sydney from November 26 -December 7, 1974. Dargie for many years dealt through Gordon Marsh in Sydney, who arranged commissions for him, and sold works through his Gordon Galleries in Double Bay. Over the years, in his travels to New South Wales, Dargie painted a number of works of Sydney Harbour, of areas such as Woolloomooloo and Watsons Bay.

As well as New South Wales, Dargie also used to travel to Queensland and for many years regularly visited Sir Leon and Lady Trout at Everton House, Everton Park, Brisbane. Dargie developed a close friendship with Sir Leon and Lady Trout, and helped them develop their own 'Portrait Gallery' in Everton House.

When the 'Sir Leon and Lady Trout Collection' was auctioned by Christie's Australia, 6-7 June 1989, there were twelve works by Dargie listed in the catalogue, and amongst these was a self-portrait, and three significant portraits commissioned in 1975 by Sir Leon and Lady Trout for their Portrait Gallery. These three portraits were a portrait of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, a portrait of Dame Pattie Menzies, and a portrait of Sir Robert Gordon Menzies.

Dargie wrote an 'Appreciation' for the book, 'The Australian artist, Douglas Pratt O.B.E. (1900-1972): an appreciation of his life and work / by fellow artist, Sir William Dargie C.B.E. With Douglas Pratt's own story written by him as a biographic sketch prior to his death in 1972.' The book was published in Artamon, N.S.W. by order of the artist's family by Australian Artist Editions.
Dargie painted the portrait of Dr Leonard Weickhardt C.B.E., and around 1975, painted the portrait of Dr Keith Fairley.

During 1975, Dargie also painted the portrait of Mr Laurence H. Ledger M.B.E., which was commissioned by the Trustees of the Benalla Art Gallery. On his visits to Benalla, Dargie would often call on Laurence Ledger, and is known to have painted on his nearby property.

Dargie designed a commemorative plate (9 inches in diameter), portraying 'the Queen in her 50th year and the Queen Mother in her 75th' for the Archive College of Australia.

In 'Laughter and the Love of Friends', the following lines are written on the sale by the Melbourne Savage Club of one of its Pacific artefacts. In February 1977, the sale met with the approval of the Melbourne Savage Club Committee.
'As it was clearly a one-off sale it was largely accepted by the members, though Peter Staughton eloquently expressed his dismay at the next Annual General Meeting and Sir William Dargie, when he returned from London later in the year, was livid. No one in the Club knew more about Pacific artefacts than Dargie, who was in no doubt that the Club had been diddled - the figure was worth at least six times what the Club had received for it. Dargie was so incensed at what he perceived to be the Club's incompetence - he was not against selling artefacts per se - that he tendered his resignation and did not rejoin for several years.'

Dargie judged the Ryecroft Wines $1000 Acquisitive Art Award. This Award was the highlight of the Victorian Artists' Society Spring Exhibition, with the winner 'to be announced on 17 August, by actor, George Layton'.

Dargie was appointed a Council Member, National Museum of Victoria, (1978 - 1983). During 1978, Dargie painted the portrait of Roy Morgan.

Dargie painted the portrait of Sir Thomas Ramsay C.M.G.

An important biographical article on Dargie and his commissioned portrait of Mr Jim Bennison (Mayor of Benalla 1949 to 1969) for the Benalla Art Gallery, appeared in The Herald, Melbourne 21 March 1980.

On 15 May 1980, the Telecommunications Tower on Black Mountain, Canberra was officially opened. Few at the opening would have realized that Dargie had produced the initial design drawings for the tower.

During 1980, Dargie painted the portraits of Sir James McNeill C.B.E., Sir David Derham K.B.E., C.M.G., and Hon. Sir Henry Bolte G.C.M.G. Dargie later noted in an article titled 'Master paints true picture on portrait', published in the Herald-Sun July 2000 that with regard to Sir Henry Bolte's portrait,
"I'm rather proud of that portrait. Sir Henry was a damn good subject, and we became friends. I liked him. He would come to my studio for sittings, and used to get through a fair bit of whisky and plenty of unfiltered cigarettes. I was painting away one day when we decided to take a break. But when I suggested we start again, he said 'No, It's finished. Don't touch it.' And he was absolutely right."

Dargie was appointed Chairman, Board of Trustees, McClelland Gallery, Langwarrin, (1981 - 1987). During 1981, Dargie painted the portrait of Sir Ian Munro McLennan K.C.M.G., K.B.E. (Chairman, ANZ Banking Group Limited (1977-1982)).

Dargie rejoined the Melbourne Savage Club. During 1982, Dargie painted the portrait of Lindsay Yeo A.O., who had been Melbourne Savage Club President (1977-1980).
Dargie also painted the portraits of John Connell, Robert Rofe and Neil Walford. 1983 During 1983, Dargie painted the portraits of Sir Lance Townsend and Sir Henry Winneke A.C., K.C.M.G., K.C.V.O., O.B.E.,K.St.J.

Dargie wrote the 'Foreword' for the book, 'Views of Victoria in the steps of von Guerard: a fifth book of paintings, poetry and prose' by Dacre Smyth.

During the year, Dargie painted the portraits of Geoffrey Donaldson A.O., and Genevieve Morgan (Mrs Gary Morgan).

In August 1985, Dargie officially opened at La Trobe University Gallery, the exhibition 'A Tribute to Victor Cobb 1876-1945', curated by Andrew Mackenzie.
An article titled, 'Sir William Dargie interviewed' (at the unveiling of the portrait of the Vice Chancellor, Professor John Ward, The University of Sydney) appeared in The Gazette and Letter to Graduates vol.4, no.13, September 1985. In this article, Dargie reflects on several other portraits that he had painted of the University of Sydney Chancellor's, Vice-Chancellor's and Registrar.

On 17 October 1985, a significant article on the life and work of Dargie, appeared in the Herald, Melbourne, under the title 'An Aussie master mellows'.

A major exhibition of Dargie's portraits titled, 'Dargie: 50 Years of Portraits' was held at Gallery 499, Roy Morgan Centre, 499 Bourke Street, Melbourne from 28 October- 22 November 1985. It was noted that the exhibition was part of Victoria's 150th Birthday Celebrations. In the exhibition 42 portraits were displayed, including those of leading men and women in the areas of politics, science, sport and business. The exhibition had been promoted in an article 'Gone but not forgotten' published in The Bulletin 22 October 1985.
In 1985, Dargie noted that, 'today when it comes to painting a portrait, I don't start until I have seen the completed image in my mind.'
Dargie was also recorded in 1985, as saying,
'When I was young, I used to paint lovely deep shadows, now I use as much light as possible. And I strive to be simple. Simplicity takes a lifetime to achieve.'

On 6 April 1986, Dargie once again officially opened the exhibition 'A Tribute to Victor Cobb 1876-1945', curated by Andrew Mackenzie, this time at the McClelland Art Gallery.

Dargie wrote the 'Foreword' for the book, 'The Etchings, Lecture Notes and Writings of Victor Cobb 1876-1945'. This book was compiled and edited by Andrew Mackenzie and published by Pioneer Design Studio. Later that year, Dargie was guest speaker at the duel launching, in the Victorian Artists' Society Galleries, of this book on Victor Cobb and the book, 'Walter Withers: The Forgotten Manuscripts' written by Andrew Mackenzie and published by Mannagum Press.

During 1988, Dargie painted the portrait of John Dewar Milne, Managing Director, ANZ Banking Group Limited (1980-1984).

Dargie was elected Chairman of the Art Sub-Committee of the Melbourne Club, (1989 - 1991), and was on the sub-committee (1989 - 1994).
Twelve of Dargie's works from the 'Sir Leon and Lady Trout Collection' were auctioned by Christie's Australia 6-7 June 1989.

On 11 February 1990, a major article on Dargie titled, 'Meeting an angry artist': (Knights of the '90s) written by Lawrence Money was published in The Sunday Age. In this article, Dargie recalls Gough Whitlam and notes,
'He was the one responsible for one of the biggest disappointments in my life, when I was Head of the Commonwealth Art Advisory Board. It was a scheme at building up a link with Melanesian art, a twin relationship between our proposed new gallery and the museum at Port Moresby. It was all set up and ready to go, but Whitlam killed it. I think part of the reason was his personal dislike of me.' Dargie resigned from the Commonwealth Art Advisory Board soon after. Also in this Sunday Age article, Dargie discussed his approach to painting.
'I discovered when I was quite young that if you were going to paint with any reasonable chance of success at all the picture had to appear, as it were, before you in your mind's eye with the brush strokes too but still incomplete. I was surprised years later to hear Freddie Williams say that this was the thing he most remembered and put into practice.'

Dargie wrote the 'Introduction' for the book, 'Frederick McCubbin 1855-1917: 'The Proff' and his art' written by Andrew Mackenzie, and published by Mannagum Press.
Dargie was presented with the Victorian Artists' Society Honor Medal for his outstanding contributions to art.

In September, Dargie's portrait of Sir Robert Gordon Menzies was offered for 'Sale By Tender'.

On 4 June 1992, Dargie noted that his wish on his 80th Birthday was,
'If I could find a doctor to make me physically aligned to my mental age of 25 - that wouldn't be a bad thing would it'.
On 5 June, a significant article on Dargie titled, 'Dargie daubs the uncommon with a common touch', written by Bryce Hallett, appeared in The Australian.
Four of Dargie's portrait works were featured in the exhibition, 'Uncommon Australians: Towards an Australian Portrait Gallery' which was held at the National Gallery of Victoria to 29 June 1992, before touring to Canberra, Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide. The four works by Dargie in this exhibition were his portraits of Essington Lewis, Charles Kingsford Smith, Charles Ulm and Albert Namatjira.
During 1992, Dargie was guest speaker at a packed House Dinner held at the Melbourne Savage Club.

On 8 April, Dargie's portrait of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, painted in 1954, was featured by Australia Post on a 45cent stamp. One of Dargie's illustrations was used for the cover for the menu for the Centenary Dinner of the Melbourne Savage Club, held in the Great Hall, National Gallery of Victoria, 9 May 1994.

A major sale exhibition of fifty of Dargie's selected works was held at Eastgate Gallery, 158 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, Victoria, between 25 June and 15 July 1995. The exhibition was titled, 'Sir William Dargie: Selected Works 1931-1995'. The exhibition prompted two reviews, one by Robert Rooney in The Australian 7 July 1995, p. 12, and the other by Robert Nelson in The Age 28 June 1995, p. 23. Considerable space was devoted to an article on Dargie that appeared in the 'Weekend' Herald-Sun 8 July 1995, p. 3 under the title, 'Knight Vision'.

Dargie wrote the 'Foreword' to the book, 'C. Dudley Wood' written by Gavin Fry and published by Beagle Press in Sydney.

In March, an article noted that, 'Dargie is to paint the portrait of retiring State Governor, Richard McGarvie.' On 5 April, a major article on Dargie titled, 'Through a glass, Dargie' written by Barry Dickens, appeared in The Age (Extra Features).
On Sunday 9 November 1997, a Remembrance Service was held at St. Barnabas' Church, Balwyn and on this occasion Dargie presented to the church a memorial plaque to all forces - which he had painted.

In May 1999, there appeared in the press the obituary of Miss Ida Lowndes, with a reproduction of 'Ida Lowndes' portrait by Sir William Dargie. Dargie's brother, Horrie died on 30 August 1999, aged 82.

Dargie, in an article titled, 'Artist chalks up 88 years' written by John Hamilton, and published in the Herald Sun 3 June 2000, notes that,
'I finished my last formal portrait in oils last year. I decided that as the century was coming to an end, I belonged to the last century and that was it.' Although he may not be painting portraits, Dargie still works at his passion, producing 'pen and ink drawings and sketches in charcoal and chalk pastels.'

Dargie wrote the 'Foreword' to the George Browning Catalogue, for the Memorial Retrospective Exhibition that was opened at the Victorian Artists' Society Galleries by Ian Armstrong on 19 May 2001.

On 27 October 2001, Dargie was an official guest and speaker at the launching of the life and works of Albert Namatjira on the Internet site:

In December, Dargie had a heart pace-maker fitted.

Dargie and his wife, Kathleen have always been great supporters of their local library and also of the State Library of Victoria. In recent times, Dargie has donated to the La Trobe Library, State Library of Victoria, a number of his works, including a portrait of his brother, and sketches of Lord Casey, Lindsay Fox and Sir Robert Gordon Menzies.

Dargie introduces himself as Bill, yet to many of his contemporaries he is 'Darg' or 'Dargie'. Asked if the family had a special affectionate name for Dargie, I was informed that the youngest members of the Dargie clan call him 'Grumpy'.

I was also informed that Dargie carries with him a card with words of wisdom to live by, written by his mother in 1928, with the following quotation from the English poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley,

We are assured
Much may be conquered,
Much may be endured
of what degrades and crushes us.
We know
That we have the power over
ourselves to do,
And suffer-what we know not
till we try
But something
Nobler than to live or die.

Sir William Dargie passed away 26 July 2003.



Works by Sir William Dargie are held in the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, in all State Galleries, and in the Regional Galleries - Castlemaine, Benalla, Bendigo, Geelong, Mildura, Perth University, University of Melbourne, and University of Sydney.

An estimated 600 works are in the collection of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, and there are further works held in institutional and private collections throughout Australia and overseas.

Sir William Dargie has worked on many commissions, including the portrait of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh, H.R.H. The Duke of Gloucester, Princess Alexandra and her mother, and The Princess Royal.

Among his other commissions, which include portraits of prominent men and women in the areas of politics, sport, science, education and business, is his portrait of Sir George Pearce P.C., for King's Hall, (Old) Parliament House, Canberra. Dargie has also produced self-portraits, and portraits of his wife, his brother, his father and his daughter, Faye.

Dargie has worked in a range of mediums, including oil, watercolour, pastel, gouache, chalk, pen and ink, charcoal, and pencil, and apart from his portraits for which he is best known, has produced many still-life's, landscapes, interiors, and works of the ballet and theatre.

The artist, Louis Kahan drew Dargie's portrait in 1962, and more recently, the artist, June Mendoza painted Dargie's portrait in oils.


Dargie was a member, and in some cases is still a member, of a number of clubs. These include the Melbourne Club, Melbourne Savage Club, Yorick Club, L.T.A.V., Naval and Military Club, Victorain Artists' Society of which he is a Life Member and Honorary Fellow, Twenty Melbourne Painters and the Australian Academy of Art.

He is F.R.S.A. London and F.R.A.S. New South Wales and has exhibited with the Royal Academy and Royal Society of Portrait Painters.

Andrew Mackenzie

Left: Arthur Streeton - Above Us The Great Grave Sky, 1890
Collection: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

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